Rugby 3.6.2014 02:54 pm

Lawrence Sephaka faces WCup selection poser

FILE PICTURE: Lawrence Sephaka. Picture: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images.

FILE PICTURE: Lawrence Sephaka. Picture: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images.

Springbok Women’s coach Lawrence Sephaka says he faces a tough task of selecting a squad ahead of the IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup campaign in France from August 1 to 17.

“It was very pleasing to see the commitment and focus in the camp before both warm-up matches,” Sephaka said in a statement on Tuesday.

“It showed how determined all of the players are, including those in the Interprovincial XV, to be in the group that represents the country at the World Cup.

Over the past few weeks, a large group of players took part in a spate of warm-up matches as part of their preparation for the international showpiece.

The Springbok Women’s XV registered a 87-12 victory against the Women’s Interprovincial XV at Ellis Park on Saturday, following a 45-7 victory at Newlands three weeks ago in the final trial matches before the selection of the World Cup squad.

“In the next two weeks we will face the challenge of finalising our World Cup squad, and although the warm-games at Ellis Park and Newlands provided some clarity, it will remain a challenging task to select only 26 players.”

Regular training camps, satellite coaching stations and the assistance of the Saru Mobi-Unit was paying off, he said.

“Saturday’s match marked the first time the Springbok Women Sevens players were drafted into the 15-a-side set-up and they gelled well with the other players.

“It was also pleasing to see them adapt to our structures within two days.

“I was also pleased with the quality of our rugby. When the players stuck to the game plan the tries followed.”

The Springbok Women will travel to London and France from June 25 to July 5 on a World Cup warm-up tour, which would include two matches against the Nomads and one against France.

Sephaka said this would serve as the perfect yardstick to measure the team’s progress.

“The matches on the warm-up tour are going to be very tough.

“The Nomads always field a quality team, while France will view their match against us as a dress rehearsal for our World Cup pool match, so the players will have to be at their best to have a good tour.

“But although it will be challenging, this tour is exactly what we need to prepare the players mentally and physically for the World Cup.”

The 26-member squad will be announced in mid-June.

Sapa

 

 

 

 

 

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